Junior World Cup hockey

WORLDS AHEAD: Laura Gray (maroon and white) playing for Tuggeranong Vikings Women's Hockey Club in the National Capital League  division one competition. Photo: Keegan Carroll

WORLDS AHEAD: Laura Gray (maroon and white) playing for Tuggeranong Vikings Women's Hockey Club in the National Capital League division one competition. Photo: Keegan Carroll

LAURA Gray, from Goulburn and who plays for the Tuggeranong Vikings Women’s Hockey Club has been named in the Junior World Cup team to play in Chile.

Gray has just returned from the Australian Hockey League, where she represented the Canberra Strikers, and finished equal second highest goal scorer at the competition with four goals.

Gray, who is a striker for Tuggeranong Vikings finished the regular Hockey ACT Capital League 1 season as the highest goal scorer, with an incredible 31 goals.

Last year Gray was a member of the Jillaroos team that played in Buenos Aires, Argentina last October coming away with two wins and two draws.

“I  am hoping the work I am putting in will impress the selectors for the Junior World Cup side to go to Chile,” she told the Goulburn Post back in June.

“I enjoyed the experience in Argentina last year and am aware of the pressure and responsibility of representing Australia as one of the team responsible for setting up goal opportunities or finding the gap myself.”

Gray trains six days a week with the goal of representing Australia in mind.

 This goal is a step closer to realisation with the naming of the Australian team and her inclusion.

The team will leave Australia on November 20 for Santiago, Chile and is scheduled to compete from November 24 to December 4. 

 A team of 18 was selected by Head Coach Tim White and the national selection panel.

Head Coach Tim White said: “The team selected for the Junior World Cup is a talented group of young athletes. It provides flexibility across a range of lines and there's a mix of experienced players at this level along with some exciting new talent. It's a skillful and athletic group and we now look forward to working hard over the next 6 weeks to prepare as well as we can for the tournament.

”Obviously it was a very difficult selection process given the number of talented athletes we have in the under 21’s age group, however we have looked at performances from across the year and feel that the athletes we have chosen are the ones who will give us the best chance of success at the Junior World Cup.”

Athletes have been assessed across the year including at the National Futures Camp, the Junior World Cup qualification camp and the Junior World Cup Qualifier on the Gold Coast, the Under 21 Australian Championships in Sydney in April, the National Training Centre Challenge in Canberra in May, the National U/21’s England tour, and most recently at the Australian Hockey League which took place in Perth over the weekend.

The nominated athletes include:

2016 Women’s National Junior Squad

  • Name (Home town / suburb)
  • Laura Gray (Goulburn, NSW)
  • Kate Hanna (Constitution Hill, NSW)
  • Greta Hayes Maroubra, NSW)
  • Rene Hunter (Wentworth Point, NSW)
  • Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
  • Mikaela Patterson (Blackbutt, NSW)
  • Grace Stewart (Gerrigong, NSW)
  • Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)
  • Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita, NSW)
  • Rebecca Greiner (Bundaberg, QLD)
  • Ambrosia Malone (Molendinar, QLD)
  • Renee Taylor (Bundaberg, QLD)
  • Kristina Bates (Port Melbourne, VIC)
  • Madi Ratcliffe (Warrnambool, VIC)
  • Sophie Taylor (Camberwell, VIC)
  • Aleisha Power (Clackline, WA)
  • Karri Somerville (Kensington, WA)
  • Georgia Wilson (Mahogany Creek, WA)
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